The D.C. Council strongly supported a resolution Tuesday calling on the Washington Redskins to ditch their controversial name, fueling the fire for one of Capitol Hill’s foremost opponents of the name.
In the minutes preceding the 10-0-1 vote, from which two councilmembers abstained, Rep. Betty McCollum launched a tirade against the name on her Twitter account.
“The word Red****s is a racial slur. It is offensive/demeaning to Native Americans and all Americans alike. #changethename,” the Minnesota Democrat tweeted.
The fight to rebrand the local football team comes to McCollum’s home turf on Thursday, when the Minnesota Vikings meet the Washington Redskins at Mall of America Field in Minneapolis.
McCollum has announced her intent to join members of the American Indian Movement to protest the arrival of Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who has said he has no intention to change the team’s name.
Snyder frames the issue as a matter of tradition and history for the 81-year-old team.
In advance of the game, McCollum has issued a letter to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, local political leaders and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority asking that use of the Redskins logo be limited, despite potentially conflicting contractual obligations with the NFL. Snyder and the NFL have a right to free speech, she writes, “but the people of Minnesota do not have an obligation to open the doors of our public sports facility and allow for a for-profit entity to display and promote their racial slur.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.